P. 1
Trade Handbook

Trade Handbook

|Views: 979|Likes:
Published by Business Roundtable

More info:

Published by: Business Roundtable on Feb 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/14/2011

pdf

text

original

We Must Build Programs to Better Assist Displaced Workers

Open trade policies bring economic growth and jobs to the U.S. economy, but it is inescapable that some workers will be displaced

by foreign competition as well as by technological innovations and other factors unrelated to trade. We cannot ignore these workers;

we must develop programs to ensure that all of America’s workers reap the benefts of open markets and technological innovations.

●●

Despite recent improvements, problems continue to exist in programs designed to help displaced workers.

●●

Existing public education, training and adjustment programs are balkanized. Across the federal government, there are 44

programs in nine diferent agencies that focus on employment training. As a result, potential benefciaries of the system

fnd it difcult to access relevant information.

●●

Existing programs are not relevant to the 21st

century economy. Programs are designed to help manufacturing workers

displaced by cyclical downturns in the economy, but today’s economic changes are structural, requiring a broader focus.

●●

Programs concentrate primarily on persons who already are out of work and do not devote enough resources to

incumbent workers who need to upgrade their skills.

●●

Most states discourage or prohibit unemployed persons from participating in training until they have exhausted their

unemployment insurance.

Worker adjustment programs need to be designed for the 21st

century.

●●

Education, training and adjustment programs should be consolidated under more uniform and transparent eligibility

requirements and should distribute benefts under a common set of criteria. Systems should be streamlined to eliminate

the multiple bureaucracies in current programs.

●●

Programs should encourage early enrollment in training to accelerate a worker’s adjustment. Programs should allow workers

to begin retraining or education programs immediately upon losing their jobs or even before, if possible. Programs also

should focus on training incumbent workers who need to upgrade their skills, in addition to assisting those who presently

are in need of work.

●●

Programs should refect the modernization of our economy and cover all relevant displaced workers, including services workers.

●●

Programs should be fne-tuned for today’s modern economy, providing training in skills and felds that are critical to

American competitiveness and giving workers the fexibility to participate in the changing economy.

●●

Policies should create incentives for business to support employee education in the skills and technology necessary for

the changing economy. To remain competitive in today’s environment, businesses and workers need to constantly update

their skills.

●●

Beyond job training and education, displaced workers should be provided with the necessary safety net to allow them to

adjust to changes in the economy, including portable health and retirement benefts.

W
in
n
in
g
P
o
lic
ie
s
f
o
r
t
h
e
2
1

s
t

C
e
n
t
u
r
y

50 | Business Roundtable www.brt.org

Because today’s students are tomorrow’s workers, improvements to existing adjustment programs should be pursued in tandem

with systemic educational reform.

●●

Trade adjustment assistance alone cannot meet the long-term challenges facing lower-skilled workers. Displaced

workers disproportionately are those with a high school education or less. Improving educational opportunities for

American students will help them remain competitive in a changing economy.

●●

Business and community leaders need to work together to develop sound education policies that prepare our students

to succeed in felds that will lie at the forefront of the world economy, such as math, science and engineering.

Well-designed programs for displaced workers—not trade and investment restrictions—will ensure higher living standards and

robust income growth.

Winning Policies for the 21st Century

Understanding Trade: Key Issues and Facts | 51

Bringing the Benefts of Liberalized Trade and Investment to the

Least-Developed Countries

Participation in the Global Economy Will Help Developing Countries Lift Their Citizens
from Poverty

Economic openness and trade liberalization have helped lift millions of people around the world out of poverty.

●●

Open trade policies in the 20th

century helped countries as diverse as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Korea grow

their economies, increase trade and improve standards of living for their citizens.

●●

Lowering barriers to imports is an important step developing countries can take to spur economic growth and reduce

poverty. Developing countries that have registered the largest declines in poverty tend to have also expanded their trade

faster. According to the World Bank, the level of trade restrictiveness is generally negatively correlated with the level of

development.64

Liberalizing countries also achieved longer life expectancy, better schooling, rising wages and a declining

number of people in poverty.

●●

U.S. policies that open our markets to developing countries have helped facilitate growth and eliminate poverty.

Under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), current benefciary countries increased exports to the United States

from $226 million in 1989 to nearly $2 billion in 2008. The program has helped countries diversify their economies

beyond commodities; more than 60 percent of U.S. CBI imports are now manufactured goods. Many of the top

CBI benefciaries, such as Costa Rica, have evolved into full trading partners that now provide duty-free access for

American exporters under FTAs such as DR-CAFTA.

Following the enactment of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, eligible countries increased their exports to

the United States from $21 billion in 2000 to $81 billion in 2008, although their exports declined signifcantly with

the global downturn in 2009.

●●

Liberalized trade and investment go hand in hand with improved labor rights and environmental protections as countries

strengthen enforcement and multinational frms bring higher wages and global standards.

Despite global liberalization, many citizens in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs), particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and

the Middle East, have not realized tangible economic benefts from the global economy. The United States and other industrialized

countries must take steps to bring LDCs into the global economy.

●●

The United States and other industrialized countries should develop and implement programs to improve trade and

investment-related capacity building for LDCs. These countries often cannot reap the benefts of global liberalization

because they lack resources and capacity to develop national trade policies and to negotiate and implement agreements.

Inadequate regulatory and enforcement structures, poor physical infrastructure and lack of business capacity handicap

LDCs in negotiating and implementing trade liberalization.

W
in
n
in
g
P
o
lic
ie
s
f
o
r
t
h
e
2
1

s
t

C
e
n
t
u
r
y

52 | Business Roundtable www.brt.org

●●

The United States and other industrialized countries give signifcant aid to LDCs through bilateral and multilateral

programs. These programs should be examined and reformed to ensure that trade and investment liberalization

objectives are integrated with development assistance programs.

●●

The United States maintains a number of trade preference programs for developing countries. These programs have

helped increase imports from LDCs and pave the way for deeper liberalization in the form of free trade agreements.

However, these programs should be examined carefully to ensure benefts to LDCs are being maximized.

●●

The United States also should re-examine its preferences programs to ensure proper incentives are given to

developing countries.

Advanced developing countries should be encouraged to adopt policies that remove harmful barriers to

south-south trade. A signifcant portion of the barriers to exports from developing countries comes from other

developing countries. According to World Bank estimates, 70 percent of the tarif burden faced by developing

countries is imposed by other developing countries.65

Advanced developing countries should be given incentives to make meaningful multilateral commitments. In

determining eligibility for preference programs, the United States should consider the role the country has

played in negotiations of multilateral trade liberalization.

Winning Policies for the 21st Century

Understanding Trade: Key Issues and Facts | 53

Free Trade Agreements

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->